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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Has anyone tried Chinese herbs for eczema

(43 Posts)
Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 20:31:38

I've lurked on MN but never posted before. I have a DC who had mild eczema at about a year old. However, it spread all over her body and face and we have tried everything to get it under control. Also has very bad cradle cap. We have seen a dermatologist and although their initial advice was great and the condition was controlled as soon as we tapered off steroids (as advised) it is starting to come back. No allergies.

We're at our wits end with the sleepless nights and the relentless scratching. It's miserable and I hate seeing my DC suffering.

We tried homeopathy (I know but we are desperate sad) on someone's advice but I actually think it's made it worse! I just don't know what to do now. Currently using cetraben and happy with this as it really does keep skin moisturised and no reactions. We tried aveeno but it had no effect.

Has anyone tried Chinese medicine? Particularly interested in Charles Buck as he has been recommended to me by an acupunturist. Failing that throw all your magic cures at me and I will try anything!

VagueIdeas Wed 08-Jun-16 20:35:30

IIRC Chinese medicine is unregulated and some eczema remedies were found to contain steroids (a pharmacy assistant told me this 10+ years ago anyway).

Also, y'know, it's like homeopathy in the sense it's not been proved to be effective.

BluePitchFork Wed 08-Jun-16 20:36:48

don't do it.
at best it does nothing at worst it might poison dc.
what have you tried?
it's trial and error what works for you.
from creams to laundry to bedding to food to hayfever.
it can have many causes.

Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 20:57:25

I was hoping someone would be along to sing it's praises sad

It's actually mostly on the feet, face and scalp. Don't know if it's a coincidence but she started getting itchy again when we started the homeopathy.

We've tried epaderm which made it worse as did dermal, double base and everything else the GP prescribed. Aveeno did initially work but think she got too bad for it to do anything else. We were given cetraben by the dermatologist and this suits her really well. We were also given oilatum shampoo but this did nothing for the scalp. Daktacort worked for the 2 weeks we were told to use it on her scalp but the cradle cap crept back as soon as we stopped. Steroid wise we use elecon. We use oats in the bath. Also prescribed protopic for her face but I'm just so scared to use it as I've read it can increase the risk of skin cancer.

Oh and we used allergenics on her face which worked really well but then stopped working. We've tried Elena's nature collection, pure potions, hopes relief, barefoot sos and mugoo to no effect. Just don't know where to go from here.

Thank you for your responses and would appreciate any advice given.

Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 20:58:56

Just to add we ordered the scratch sleeves pj's which are currently being dried. Hoping this will stop her clawing at her face and head at night. Also forgot to mention she is 3.

frikadela01 Wed 08-Jun-16 21:05:39

You say cetraben is working so why not carry on using thatrrher than trying unregulated and unlicensed products.

BigMamaFratelli Wed 08-Jun-16 21:13:37

Pumpkin what is your dd's diet like? I know a lot of people rubbish the idea but I really did find that cutting out gluten (and carrots in dd1's case) really did help. Along with a vitamin d supplement and coconut oil.

bringmelaughter Wed 08-Jun-16 21:28:42

Have you been back to the dermatologist since their initial advice stopped working? I'd seriously avoid giving my child unregulated 'medicines' which may not only not work but may also cause harm.

Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 21:31:01

Frik cetraben is working for moisturising her skin but one the eczema flares up again it won't be able to control it.

BigMama she has a varied diet and won't refuse much. Interesting about going gluten free we got her the GF cereal, which she happily eats but refused the GF bread. We also have GF pasta but that's all.

BluePitchFork Wed 08-Jun-16 21:37:21

yes, go back to gp or sak at the reception if they have an eczema nurse. they know a lot about the practical aspects of treating eczema.
also, steroids are not the work of the devil. if the skin is angry and inflamed it really helps to break the cycle of itching, breaking skin, more itching...

Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 21:40:33

Bringme we have another appointment with the dermatologist in September.

We have reduced the steroid creams to weekends only but spoke to the eczema nurse today who said to just use it to 'zap' the red areas and then keep moisturising more than usual. Then stop and see what happens.

Can homeopathy make things worse? I hope I haven't made things worse. It was a GP we went to as she also has 20+ years experience in homeopathy so felt I was doing something right confused

Didn't realise Chinese medicine could cause harm. Will avoid if that's the case.

MouldyPeach Wed 08-Jun-16 21:44:24

Best to stick to regulated medications and trial and error. I found cutting dairy out helps my dd but I know that won't work for everyone but worth trying an elimination diet to see if some foods do trigger it.

BluePitchFork Wed 08-Jun-16 21:45:42

the thing about homeopathy is that it's a placebo. which can work for some conditions.
but it can get dangerous if it replaces treatment that is proven to work.

nobeer Wed 08-Jun-16 21:51:19

I did about 15 years ago, in addition to a diet the Chinese doctor put me on. It had incredible results, my skin cleared up in 3 days. But I'm not sure if that was due to the minging tasting tea or the diet. Shortly after a nurse friend of mine told me she'd read in a journal that it can cause renal failure so I promised not to do it again!
From what I recall the diet was to avoid dairy, eggs, onion, garlic, anything spicy, tomato, chocolate, tea and coffee.

HTH and do avoid the herbs please!

Itchydog Wed 08-Jun-16 21:52:41

I had really severe excema! It got really bad when I was in high school! Really bad, my skin cracked and bled and would stick to my clothes, it was awful! At wits end mum had seen a Chinese herbalist on tv one morning and decided we were going. To London from north west! She drove and we queued outside a tiny shop for ages! The lady there looked at my nails, eyes and tongue and made a prescription and gave me a little tub of cream!
I used the cream on way home and by the time we got home my face wasn't red anymore! We brewed the herbs! They smelt awful, they tasted worse! After 3 months excema had nearly gone! I think it's amazing and would happily use again on myself or my children!
I should mention that I was monitored at hospital all the time I was taking it! My excema was bad enough to have me admitted to hospital with infections and flare ups!

BigMamaFratelli Wed 08-Jun-16 21:55:26

GF bread is vile so I'm not surprised she refused it grin

I generally found it easier just avoid gluten containing products altogether rather than replace them as, in the main, GF products aren't great.

Eczema is an immune response and I find it so odd that none of the doctors
we came into contact with were interested in finding out what caused the response. They just wanted to find a cream to slap on. And started with the cheapest, rather than the most effectiveconfused

Gluten may not be your dd's Eczema trigger, but I recommend googling the common ones and keeping a food diary to see if there is a pattern.

BluePitchFork Wed 08-Jun-16 21:56:32

From what I recall the diet was to avoid dairy, eggs, onion, garlic, anything spicy, tomato, chocolate, tea and coffee.

those are all known possible eczema/allergy triggers...

Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 21:56:58

We haven't done an elimination diet mouldypeach as we just can't see any rhyme or reason to it. She was having hard stools so put on movicol by a paediatrician.

Blue we were advised to continue with the dermatologists advice and would never be without a steroid as I know it can get worse quite quickly. I do worry about using the steroids though long term.

I'm sure it flared up after she had the flu shot. Prior to that she had mild eczema on her ankles and arms only. She has had cradle cap on and off since she was a baby. Just wish we could find out what's causing it. The dermatologist did an Ige test which was negative but she has lost quite a bit of weight since the flare up. It started as an infection then she had impetigo and it went downhill from there.

BigMamaFratelli Wed 08-Jun-16 21:59:08

Sorry if you already know this pumpkin but steroid withdrawal can cause a reaction that can easily be mistaken for Eczema.

bluecarpet Wed 08-Jun-16 21:59:35

Don't use them
Don't use then
Don't use them
Don't use them

Did I mention not to use them smile

If they work then they probably contain strong steroids. I have seen kids in kidney and liver failure through use of Chinese "herbs"that were actually very strong immunosuppressive drugs.

Misnomer Wed 08-Jun-16 22:00:10

We had a very good dermatologist so she worked through the various options and if one wasn't working she would switch us over to something else. We got there in the end. We were referred to an allergy specialist and a nutritionist because in my daughters case it was food related. This was all through the NHS, by the way. I don't think I would have considered the Chinese medicine route, to be honest (despite the exclamation review above in this thread). I think the thing that made the most difference was using the steroid cream for longer. I think I was so wary of using it that I kept it to a minimum but this wasn't actually enough to get it under control.

Good luck, op. I remember how awful it was when my daughter was scratching herself raw and unable to sleep. Very luckily she has out grown the worst of it. I hope yours does too.

BluePitchFork Wed 08-Jun-16 22:01:14

hmm, most vaccines contain egg, maybe have a look at that?
have you tried antihistamines? helps with the itching as well.
lomg term low dose steroid use is not a problem at all. those creams are very low dose.

Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 22:08:37

Thank you all so much for your responses.

nobeer the renal failure thing has really scared me off. I didn't realise there were significant side effects to the herbs.

itchy I'm so pleased it worked for you. DD has been admitted once for an infection and has had a couple since.

Bigmama I tasted the bread and wasn't impressed! She likes sandwiches and toast though so would cause all hell to break loose if she doesn't get it! I did keep a food diary for a while but couldn't pinpoint anything at all.

Our GP was useless. At her worst she wasn't prescribed steroid cream as the nurse practitioner thought aveeno would shift it all. The eczema nurse was horrified and insisted they prescribe a steroid. They wouldn't even refer us to a dermatologist until the eczema nurse asked them and cited the NICE guidelines to them.

What I'm finding though is when her scalp is clear the eczema clears and as soon as she gets the cradle cap it flares up the eczema again. To date I haven't found anything to keep the cradle cap at bay.

Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 22:16:42

You've all scared me off the steroids now! Apart from itchy of course but think I'll definitely avoid.

Bigmama can you please explain steroid withdrawal? How would you deal with this?

Blue she was ok with eggs before that and also recently when her skin was all clear she has been eating them. She was put on piriton and loritadine but they didn't help. I thought elecon was quite strong? I have put it on her tonight and do find that it works quickly.

Pumpkin11 Wed 08-Jun-16 22:18:49

*Scared me off the herbs!

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